Heroes

What do these 6 stars have in common? They fund sea vigilantes who take down evil sea criminals.

Next up in badass things old school celebs are doing that you didn't even know about ...

What do these 6 stars have in common? They fund sea vigilantes who take down evil sea criminals.
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Bob Barker. Beloved host of "The Price Is Right" from 1972 to 2007...

He famously ended every show with a reminder to spay and neuter your pets because he loves animals. GIF via "The Price Is Right."


...and partial bankroller to a group of vigilantes that have been chasing down evil criminals on the high seas.

Law enforcement on the high seas is lax. And there's a LOT of money to be made from taking advantage of that. It's not uncommon for fishing ships to go rogue, fish illegally, and seriously abuse both the environment and human rights with little regard.

So the current reality is this: Bob Barker and other celebrities are putting their money into a group called Sea Shepherd Global — because if governments won't protect the seas, Sea Shepherd sure will.

With vigilante justice...

"[Sea Shepherd] describes itself as an eco-vigilante group, flies a variation of the Jolly Roger on its ships and often cites the motto, 'It takes a pirate to catch a pirate.' ... Sea Shepherd's goal was not just to protect a rapidly disappearing species of fish, its leaders said, but to show that flagrant violators of the law could be brought to justice." — Ian Urbina from The New York Times on Sea Shepherd

And boats bought by Bob Barker!

Note: This is the actual boat named "Bob Barker." I know. Shark! It looks so badass! Image by AussieLegend/Wikimedia Commons.

Recently, Sea Shepherd Global sailed Bob Barker's boat (appropriately named the Bob Barker) and trailed a boat called the Thunder, which was notorious for illegally fishing for Chilean sea bass — to the tune of $76 million in illegal sales in the past decade. The Bob Barker trailed the Thunder for over 100 days in the Arctic, and the chase ended when the Thunder sank.

"There is no way to stop it sinking." Stopped, The Thunder took its illegal evidence 2 miles down to the sea floor. The 4th Installment of The Outlaw Ocean: http://urbina.io/1KuY8Zz
A photo posted by Ian Urbina (@ian_urbina) on

It was dramatic. But that's how Sea Shepherd rolls.

So are we talking about a vigilante navy funded in part by famous people? Yes, we are.

And Bob's not the only patron. I looked into other famous folks involved in Sea Shepherd and found more than a few names I recognized! Sea Shepherd's board of advisors includes even more — Sean Penn, Linda Blair, Pierce Brosnan, and others!

Here are my favorite five:

1. Bob Barker

Image by Iaksge/Wikimedia Commons.

He bought a boat! And Sea Shepherd, the organization he bought it for, named it after him.

2. Sam Simon, co-creator of "The Simpsons"

Image by Matt Waldron/Wikimedia Commons.

Sam Simon was a famously big-hearted philanthropist. He largely funded the $2 million purchase of Sam Simon the boat, and the rest is Sea Shepherd history.


Image by Saberwyn/Wikimedia Commons.

Illegal-sea-bass, sea-chasing history.

While the Bob Barker was hot on the tail of the Thunder, the Sam Simon was helping out with fuel, supplies, and other things on the high, icy seas of Chilean sea bass territory.

3. Martin Sheen

Image by Damon D'Amato/Wikimedia Commons.

He's got a boat, too! It's mainly involved in dealing with the issue of plastic debris in the oceans. Where the government fails, President Bartlett steps in!

4. MacGyver!

Image by Themightyquill/Wikimedia Commons.

That is, Richard Dean Anderson, most famously known (to me) for playing MacGyver.

His pet cause is baby seals. He's worked with Sea Shepherd a lot to raise awareness around seal hunting.

5. Brigitte Bardot

Image by MGM/Wikimedia Commons.

She's got a Sea Shepherd boat too! It's an anti-whaling boat.


Image by AussieLegend/Wikimedia Commons.

Bardot went on a whaling trip with the founder of Sea Shepherd in 1977, and she's been involved ever since.

6. James Bond aka Sean Connery

Image via Rob Mieremet/Dutch National Archives/Wikimedia Commons.

He's on the International Advisory Board of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Welcome to 2015, where part of the ocean is kinda ruled by celebrities.

The chase of the Thunder wasn't the end. Until governments step up, Sea Shepherd Global will continue its vigilante justice on the Wild West-iest parts of the Earth's ocean.

Another pirate ship on Interpol's Most Wanted list was recently chased down by Sea Shepherd, which then got police to detain the ship in port in Thailand. Then one night, when the police weren't paying attention, the ship snuck away, back onto the high seas. *facepalm*

And until actual governments step up, the price is right ... on celebrity funded vigilante ocean justice.

And remember, no more Chilean sea bass! ;)

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This year, we've all experienced a little more stress and anxiety. This is especially true for youth facing homelessness, like Megan and Lionel. Enter Covenant House, an international organization that helps transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is Delivering Smiles this holiday season by donating essential items and fulfilling AmazonSmile Charity Lists for organizations, like Covenant House, that have been impacted this year more than ever. Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a charity of your choice or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

With vaccine rollouts for the novel coronavirus on the horizon, humanity is getting its first ray of hope for a return to normalcy in 2021. That normalcy, however, will depend on enough people's willingness to get the vaccine to achieve some level of herd immunity. While some people are ready to jump in line immediately for the vaccine, others are reticent to get the shots.

Hesitancy runs the gamut from outright anti-vaxxers to people who trust the time-tested vaccines we already have but are unsure about these new ones. Scientists have tried to educate the public about the development of the new mRNA vaccines and why they feel confident in their safety, but getting that information through the noise of hot takes and misinformation is tricky.

To help increase the public's confidence in taking the vaccine, three former presidents have volunteered to get their shots on camera. President George W. Bush initially reached out to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx to ask how he could help promote a vaccine once it's approved. Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton have both stated that they will take the vaccine if it is approved and will do so publicly if it will help more people feel comfortable taking it. CNN says it has also reached out to President Jimmy Carter to see if he is on board with the idea as well.

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Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

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"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

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Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down...in the most delightful way.

There are certain songs from kids' movies that most of us can sing along to, but we often don't know how they originated. Now we have a timely insight into one such song—"A Spoonful of Sugar" from "Mary Poppins."

It's common for parents to try all kinds of tricks to get kids to take medications they don't want to take, but the inspiration for "A Spoonful of Sugar" was much more specific. Jeffrey Sherman, the son and nephew of the Sherman Brothers—the musical duo responsible not just for "Mary Poppins," but a host of Disney films including "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats," as well as the song "It's a Small World After All"—told the story of how "A Spoonful of Sugar" came about on Facebook.

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